to celebrate National Poetry Month (read: to drive myself crazy), i’m taking part in the Pulitzer Remix, wherein i and 84 other poets will post one poem a day created with text sourced from Pulitzer winning novels. my novel is the pictured ‘Scarlet Sister Mary’ by Julia Peterkin, which won the award in 1929 (apparently not the most popular of choices as one of the judges (supposedly) resigned in protest). there are a couple of great interviews with the creator of the project here at twenty-four hours and in the Houston Chronicle, both of which, i’m honored to say, feature one of my poems.
i will be creating erasure poems largely – covering words i want to hide and maintaining the order of the words remaining to uncover a new work. i’ve restricted myself to a page or two for each poem, and, to add some chaos to the mix, i had friends and family select the 30 pages (one for each day, naturally). i plan to present the pages/poems in the order in which i received responses.
it’s been and will be an engaging process – using a voice that is not my own to create new poems. some of which end up sounding like me; some of which sound nothing like me. it’s also interesting to see the variety of poems you can find in the same page. the piece featured in the interviews above was the result of not being happy with a more serious poem from that particular page. i needed to cleanse the ole brain pan, so i tried to make something ridiculous and fast, and that was the happy result.
so come April 1, head on over to Pulitzer Remix and check out some of the over 2500 poems that will be posted from works such as Old Man and the Sea, Beloved and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. it’s a great group of poets (i’ve gotten the pleasure of interacting with them via a facebook group) with a wide range of approaches to their material. i hope you’ll find it as intriguing as i do.
and if you’re doing something for National Poetry Month, mention it, link it, etc, below. happy writing.